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Workplace Monitoring With The Use Of Technology

r-NYPD-COMPUTER-GLITCH-large570Employers can monitor your activities at work and in many situations they have the right to do it

Monitoring In The Workplace

There are many ways in which you can be monitored at work and the following are all covered by the Data Protection Law:

  • checking phone logs or recording of phone calls. This is for business calls on a business phone that is connected to a particular computer which runs checks on calls and records them. This is a great tool to help with productivity and customer service
  • computer monitoring software which will record all actives on the computer including incoming and outgoing email content, websites visited and any social network sites visited
  • videoing outside the workplace to check if anyone is taking too many smoking breaks or they are meeting with anyone suspicious. This is also a good tool in case of any accidents on company land
  • recording on CCTV cameras to check if anyone is stealing from the company or if they are doing anything untoward in the office and again this is good for recording any accidents that might become an issue

What Are The Rules?

The Data Protection Law doesn’t prevent monitoring at work, however, there are rules set down about the circumstances and the way in which it should be carried out by the employer.

Before deciding whether to introduce monitoring, your employer should:

  • have a clear idea of the reasons for monitoring staff and what will benefit the company
  • think of anything that might affect the staff in a negative way (impact assessment)
  • is there a less intrusive method or alternatives to monitoring
  • is it justified

Except in extreme situations, employers need to let staff know that monitoring is happening and the reason for it and what they are looking at. Once an employer has carried out an impact assessment

Employers who can justify monitoring once they have carried out a proper impact assessment will not need the consent of staff members.

Monitoring Electronic Equipment At Work

It is legal for your boss to monitor your use of the phone, internet, e-mail or fax at work if the monitoring is related to the business, the equipment is provided by the company for work and the employer has made all reasonable efforts to inform you that you are being monitored. However the employee cannot monitor any personal electronic equipment

If your employer sticks to the following rules, they do not need to get your consent before they monitor you, but only if it is for one of the following:

  • to find out and establish facts relevant to the business, to check processes and procedures are being followed, or to check quality and standards by listening in to phone-calls
  • to prevent or detect crime
  • to check for unauthorised use of the internet or email for personal use
  • to make ensure the electronic systems are operating effectively with no viruses
  • to check communications, such as email or phone-calls are relevant to the business. But the employer cannot record calls

Charlie Hodgson has worked with private detective Cardiff as a private detective for many years. With hours of surveillance and other investigations under his belt he has the knowledge and understanding required to gain success in his field. Spy equipment, software and spy gadgets are of particular interest to him as he has used and relied on it more times than he would like to admit to. For more blogs like this please contact http://www.privateinvestigators-cardiff.co.uk/

 

 

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Three Controversial Uses of GPS Tracking

GPS tracking is an amazing technology that evolves constantly for new uses beyond navigation. The law enforcement community and businesses have begun using GPS tracking in ways that worry privacy experts.

Because GPS tracking allows someone to unobtrusively monitor a vehicle in real time, some question if the practice is ethical.

Monitoring Devices

Nicole Ritchie had one because she drove drunk. Lindsey Loan wore one during rehab and after for her legal problems related to substance abuse. Football star Michael Vick wore a bracelet after he got out of prison for his role in a dog-fighting ring.

The criminal justice system commonly uses GPS monitoring devices to track individuals on probation, parole or house arrest for a variety of crimes. In several states, registered sex offenders are required to wear a tracking bracelet even if they are no longer under state supervision.

These monitoring devices are designed to be intrusive. While someone convicted of a crime may prefer electronic monitoring, it is not a foolproof system. If someone removes the bracelet or if its battery is not charged, the bracelet is useless.

Sex offenders who are no longer under any sort of legal restriction are not likely to be inclined to keep the bracelet on and in working order. This leads some members of the public to question if it is cost-effective or even useful to continuing this monitoring.

Fleet Tracking

What is fleet tracking? When a business has multiple vehicles driven by employees, it often installs GPS tracking on each vehicle. Aside from the obvious benefit of routing vehicles and locating them if stolen, employers are using the trackers to increase worker productivity.

With GPS tracking, businesses can tell how fast employees drive, the number of times the vehicle has stopped, as well as the location. Because employers can purchase systems that broadcast in real time, they immediately know when an employee spends an excessive time at a service call, parked in one location or on lunch break. Employees may not like this tracking, but most employers inform employees. Employees are free to accept the policy or find other employment.

Under Cover Surveillance

Police have conducted surveillance on criminal suspects for years. Previously, most surveillance relied on someone following someone and taking photographs or video. Now, a person can be under surveillance without someone physically following them. Courts have ruled that police don’t need a warrant to place GPS tracking devices on the vehicle of a person of interest.

If someone parks a car and goes inside a building, police or anyone else can place a small tracking device under the bumper or in some other location not highly visible. From this device, they may be able to track the vehicle in real time. On other occasions, police retrieve the device the same way they placed it and then have location data to use. Expect continued court battles over whether this type of surveillance continues to be possible without a warrant.

Any technology has benefits and drawbacks. GPS tracking is no different. We have security of mind knowing we have directions to our next destination. Unfortunately, the same device allows others to identify where we are going and when. A balance of safety and privacy is important in the use of this technology.

Peggy Crippen, a guest blogger, regularly writes about business and technology, including GPS tracking.

 

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